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Dabdoub Law Firm Secures Disability Benefits from Reliance Standard for PA Woman with Scoliosis

Dabdoub Law Firm Restores Long-Term Disability Benefits for Philadelphia Client

In May 2019, our Philadelphia client began experiencing acute pain in her lower back while walking and standing. The pain soon spread to her hip and continued to worsen. By July, our client was forced to stop working due to the severity of her pain.

Our client filed a claim for long-term disability (“LTD”) benefits, which was approved by Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company and remained in effect for two years. But in December 2021, her benefits were unreasonably terminated.

Reliance justified its decision with the claim that our client was capable of performing light work. This couldn't be further from the truth, as substantial medical evidence suggests that our client cannot perform even sedentary work, nor fulfill the material duties of any occupation.

Our Client Suffers Severe Functional Limitations Due to Scoliosis & Degenerative Disc Disease

In August 2019, our client underwent an MRI that resulted in two diagnoses: scoliosis and degenerative disc disease. In October, she underwent spinal surgery in the hopes that she could return to work after her recovery.

Unfortunately, this was not the case, as our client continued to suffer from worsening symptoms that substantially limit her day-to-day activities to this day. Prior to becoming disabled, our client was described as “energetic” and “always doing something.”

Our client's symptom log details the extent of debilitating symptoms. The pain of her condition has forced her to give up hobbies she once enjoyed, such as gardening, biking, yard work, and spending time with her grandchildren. Moreover, our client struggles to complete daily tasks and relies on her daughter for household chores, such as cleaning, cooking, and running errands.

Reliance Wrongfully Terminated Our Client’s LTD Benefits Despite Overwhelming Medical Evidence

Since becoming disabled, our client has experienced an array of incapacitating symptoms, including:

  • Debilitating nerve pain
  • Tingling in her legs
  • Muscle spasms that make it difficult for her to stand and walk
  • Swollen/painful lower back substantially limits daily activities

Reliance recognized the debilitating pain and functional limitations caused by our client’s condition and rightfully approved her claim for LTD benefits prior to termination in December 2021.

While Reliance argues that there is medical evidence to support that our client is capable of performing “light work,” Dabdoub Law Firm successfully restored our client’s disability benefits after proving that the opposite is true.

Medical documentation overwhelmingly supports that our client is not only totally and completely disabled, but unfit to perform work duties in any occupation. Such evidence includes:

Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)

In July 2022, our client underwent an FCE—a procedure described by the courts as “the best means of assessing an individual’s function level.” The report concluded that our client is unable to perform the full range of the Sedentary/Light Physical Demand Category, directly contradicting Reliance’s justification for termination and confirming that our client is totally disabled as a result of functional limitations.

Primary Care Physician Evaluation

Our client’s primary care physician (PCP) also validated the extent of her disability, concluding that she was unlikely to improve and cannot perform light or sedentary work on a full-time basis.

Our client’s PCP pointed out that our client’s medications do not significantly alleviate her pain and confirmed that she “has severe and ongoing pain and severe impairment in all activities which cause her to be […] completely and totally disabled.”

Moreover, our client was ruled out as a candidate for further surgical intervention because her PCP determined that her symptoms will likely continue to worsen with time.

Our Skilled Disability Insurance Attorneys Successfully Appealed on Our Client’s Behalf

Fortunately, our experienced disability lawyers at Dabdoub Law Firm successfully appealed on our client’s behalf by demonstrating that Reliance “cherry-picked” statements from our client’s medical history in an effort to justify the decision to terminate her benefits.

As an ERISA fiduciary, Reliance Standard Life Insurance has a legal obligation to properly investigate clients’ claims prior to terminating their short- or long-term disability benefits. However, Reliance failed to do this. Our firm successfully proved that the company abandoned its fiduciary duties and instead acted in its own self-interest.

We’re happy to announce that Dabdoub Law Firm successfully reinstated our Philadelphia client’s long-term benefits so she can continue treating and managing her life-altering condition with the assistance she undeniably deserves.

Our Lawyers Specialize in Disability Insurance Claims

Because our law firm has always focused only on disability insurance, our lawyers are experts in legal representation for disability insurance benefits. That means our disability lawyers have:

  1. Won several major disability lawsuits that help make better laws for disability claimants;
  2. Experience fighting every major insurance company, such as UNUM, Hartford, MetLife, CIGNA, Prudential, and more.
  3. Successfully represented hundreds of clients and won millions of dollars in disability benefits.

Because federal law applies to most disability insurance claims, we can help clients across the country.

Disability insurance companies have lawyers. You should too. Call Dabdoub Law Firm to get experienced disability lawyers on your side. We can help with:

Call (800) 969-0488 to request a free consultation with a disability attorney. No fees or costs until you get paid.